Godless People and Sunless Skies

Deviant Space in the Tukulti-Ninurta and Nebuchadnezzar Bilinguals


  • Ben Dewar N/A




Assyriology, Nebuchadnezzar I, Tukulti-Ninurta I, Deviant Space, Heterotopia


This paper is a study of descriptions of foreign conquest of the Mesopotamian centre in two Sumerian–Akkadian bilingual texts concerning Tukulti-Ninurta I and Nebuchadnezzar I. Both texts present these deviant spaces resulting from these conquests in terms of a peripheralization of the centre. Having established similarities in the presentation of the topoi in the two texts, the paper then analyses the different contexts in which these topoi are placed in the two texts to explore how their significance differs. In the Tukulti-Ninurta Bilingual, the conquest of Assyria by its enemies would create a deviant space at the centre, and the god Ashur must therefore prevent it. In the Nebuchadnezzar Bilingual, Babylonia has already become a deviant space. The abandonment of the land by its gods and its destruction by foreign enemies therefore serves as a necessary transitional stage in the transformation of deviant space into correct space.


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How to Cite

Dewar, B. (2022) “Godless People and Sunless Skies: Deviant Space in the Tukulti-Ninurta and Nebuchadnezzar Bilinguals”, Avar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Life and Society in the Ancient Near East . London, UK, 1(1), pp. 113–138. doi: 10.33182/aijls.v1i1.1615.